Volunteer Profile: Bob Mann, Esq.

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As of May 2012, one in every 495 housing units in Ohio had a foreclosure filing, giving the state one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland processes intakes for hundreds of people in need of foreclosure help each year. Though Legal Aid lacks the resources to take all foreclosure cases brought to their attention, Legal Aid staff attorneys and pro bono volunteers work together to achieve a 76 percent success rate for the foreclosure cases Legal Aid does handle.

After retiring from a career with Progressive Insurance Company, Bob Mann called Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program in 2008 and offered his expertise. At the peak of the nation’s housing crisis, Mr. Mann hoped he “could be some help” to the thousands of low-income families affected by foreclosures. Through 2012, Mr. Mann has handled 20 pro bono foreclosure cases referred from Legal Aid.

In a recent case, Mr. Mann successfully worked to avoid the foreclosure of Dan Williams’ family home. The family had lived in the house for 21 years when they fell behind on the mortgage because Mr. Williams lost his job at the same time that his wife’s income decreased significantly. This was all the more troubling because two of their children were attending college and Mr. Williams did not want to sacrifice his children’s education.

When the Williams family was referred to him, Mr. Mann discovered the foreclosure complaint against Mr. Williams was filed incorrectly: The complaint did not include a mortgage payment that was made directly to the bank. The case was dismissed because of this error. Thanks to Mr. Mann’s keen eye for detail and passion for justice, Mr. Williams and his family could remain in their home.

Mr. Mann is passionate about his work and worries that foreclosure complaints are regularly filed without proper documentation. Mr. Mann promises to continue fighting for the Williams family and other low-income clients who face foreclosure.

Join Mr. Mann and volunteer for Legal Aid. Visit lasclev.org/ volunteer to learn more about volunteer opportunities, or email probono@lasclev.org

* client named changed to protect confidences

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